Thursday, April 22, 2010

Dogfish Head: Burton Baton

Everyone has that brewery that never dissappoints, that go to brewery that you always go to when the stacks of beer in the beer section of your local beer purvayor has blurred and you cannot make sense of it all.

For me that brewery is Dogfish Head located in Milton, Delaware. During my spring break I was able to visit their brewery, their brew pub, and the overall area that supports the brewary. Once there I thought I had really tried or seen all that Dogfish Head had to offer, but I had never seen this before: Burton Baton.

Burton Baton is a blended beer brewed and released about three times a year. The beer features two "threads" an English Style Ale and Dogfish Head's famous 90 minute IPA. The two threads are brewed seperately and then combined and aged in the one of the companys three wood barrels (2 Oak and 1 Palo Santo [a Brazialan hardwood]) for about a month.

The mixture of an English Ale and an Imperial IPA makes for a strong beer at 10%abv, however, the beer is not brash or overpowering. It's taste is very hoppy like the 90 minute IPA yet has a smoothness from the English Ale that makes the beer almost delicate.

We have not even talked about the oak. Much like in wine making the folks at Dogfish Head have become experminting with aging beers in wood barrells to gain different flavor notes. In Burton Baton you get a distinct vanilla hint and some citrus notes that add complexity to the hoppy aroma. The beer is in no way heavy which, speaking from experience, can catch up with you quickly.

This beer grades out as one of the better (if not best) beer I have had the pleasure of trying and will be a staple in my beer fridge from now on.

9/10 Sam Calagiones

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